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Gaming, Gamification and the Real Estate Sector

Chris Barkley, a senior associate in the real estate team at Goodman Derrick LLP, comments

Hundreds of millions of people on the planet are now regularly playing online games with numbers set to increase exponentially. The UK is already starting to follow the lead of countries such as the USA and China in cashing in on real estate opportunities arising from this rapidly expanding community.

Separately the demand for traditional real estate is changing. A change in working practices means that spaces often now need to be multi-functional and fully flexible. One means of achieving this is by the introduction of virtual reality to our everyday environment– a concept known as gamification.

This article explores the impact of gaming and gamification on the future of real estate.

The rise of gaming and the need for bespoke real estate space
Whilst historically gaming may have been seen as something done in isolation, the revolution that has occurred in recent years in the gaming sector has turned this perception on its head. Gaming attracts a widespread demographic and communication has become an integral part of the gaming process with huge online communities arising worldwide. Professional gaming is also on the increase with many people earning significant sums by forging careers in the industry.

With this increase in participation the real estate sector is seeing a demand for both temporary and permanent infrastructure to support the gaming industry, with professional gamers requiring spaces to give and receive training and local online communities wanting to congregate in ‘pop up’ style gaming facilities. In addition to this, larger gaming venues are also on the increase where gamers can meet and make use of the enhanced technological infrastructure of the bespoke venues whilst also meeting other gamers and competing. If we start to see arenas emerging on the scale of those in cities such as Los Angeles then the knock on effect will result in increased demand for additional hotel, retail and catering spaces for the thousands of people who attend and partake. Whilst we are yet to see anything on this scale in the UK if the trend continues in the same vein as the USA, it seems it will be only a matter of time.

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